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Here’s Why Kindness From Strangers Needs To Be Practiced More

Judie Stilman July 29, 2022

Do you ever feel embarrassed when you receive a compliment? It’s actually a pretty common occurrence. In fact, one study of 400 people concluded that 70% of the people “associated feelings of embarrassment or discomfort [by] receiving a compliment.”

But why do so many of us reject kindness from strangers? Maybe it’s because you don’t believe the kind things people say about you. Or maybe we reject them because we don’t like being the center of attention.

Regardless of how you may feel about receiving compliments, kindness positively affects our psyche. And the less you’re able to receive compliments, the less likely you are to give compliments.

So, let’s try to fix that! Today, we’re going to discuss what kindness means. We’ll also give you 4 ways to be kinder to yourself— and others.


Pedestrians Receive Kindness From Strangers on Popular Tik Tok Channel

Random acts of kindness can make someone’s day

Take La La Land Kind Café as an example of why kindness matters. This Tik Tok Channel (which now has over 5 million followers) practices “drive-by compliments.” 

It all started on a particularly slow day. A couple of the employees decided to drive around town and film the reactions of pedestrians as they shouted compliments from their windows. Their first video went viral, amassing over 11 million views. Check it out.

The owner of the small Dallas cafe, Francois Reihani, has a proactive approach to kindness. In fact, Reihani embeds kindness in the core beliefs of his company. He measures the success of La La Land Kind Café by its positive impact on society. 

It started with complimenting every customer that walked in the door and blossomed into the wildly successful Tik Tok channel.

“For us, it’s a big deal to normalize kindness,” Reihani tells WFAA.

As you can see from the video above, receiving kindness from strangers can automatically lift your mood.

What Kindness Means

Kindness spreads positive vibes to the receiver and the giver

It’s not just these random acts of kindness that show what kindness means to others. There’s actually scientific evidence proving that complimenting others may affect overall life satisfaction. It can affect you mentally, physically, emotionally, and even financially. 

No, really! Showing random acts of kindness boosts your (and others’) self-esteem. This can make you feel more confident in your various roles at school or work, leading to higher morale and opening new opportunities.

So, basically, showing kindness is a win-win for everyone!


3 Ways You Can Be More Kind Today

Acts of Kindness are just the beginning of building a happier world

If you’re worried that people don’t like to receive kindness from strangers, think again!

study by Harvard suggests “people misestimate their compliments’ value to others, and so they refrain from engaging in this prosocial behavior.” Our anxiety over how people will receive (seemingly awkward and random) kindness from strangers stops us from complimenting others more freely. 

The good news is that 90% of people actually like to receive compliments. So here are 4 ways you can be kinder today:

1. Drive-by compliments

Take inspiration from La La Land Kind Cafe! Hop in your car with a friend and try your hand at drive-by-complimenting. 

You don’t have to post it on social media or even film it. The action itself will give you (and the people you compliment) a boost in morale. 

You never know how much your words can turn someone’s day around. 

PRO-TIP: Studies suggest that compliments pertaining to personality or character are usually the most meaningful!

2. Listen

The world can feel a little lonely at times. This is just as true for your friends and family as it is for you. 

To be a better friend, it’s important to listen just as much as you share. 

Here’s how you can become a better listener

3. Compliment yourself

It can be hard to find the courage or the enthusiasm to compliment others when you don’t feel confident enough to compliment yourself. 

That’s why we recommend practicing self-care and self-love every day! You can do this by:

  • Setting an alarm with daily affirmations such as “I am constantly growing and evolving into a better person.” (Here are some more affirmation ideas);
  • Listening to self-motivating music (there’s a reason Emmy Meli’s song I Am Woman went viral on Tik Tok!);
  • Writing sticky notes to yourself with uplifting messages and place them around your house. 

4. Volunteer or donate

If one-on-one interactions make you nervous, you can show kindness by donating time or money to your favorite cause! 

Here are the benefits of being a volunteer. We also have a massive list of charities you can donate to using the Coin Up App!

Not sure where to start? Take this quiz to discover your Generosity Persona!

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